Bembry To The Next Level
By Ryan Lazo, sports editor
Apr 24, 2014, 12:59
Contributed Photo/The Hopewell News—News Patriot
PRINCE GEORGE — The Royals' Trevor Bembry has played football since he was seven years old, but it wasn't until his junior season did he think he had what it took to play at the college level.
Facing a critical road game against Dinwiddie, Bembry lined up on the defensive line as he intently glared at the quarterback and the center, waiting for his chance to make a difference. Then, as the ball was snapped, Bembry read the quarterback's eyes and knew where the pass was going.
The defensive tackle quickly sprinted toward the intended receiver, intercepted the pass and sprinted his way toward the end zone for a touchdown. A 76-yard interception return from a defensive lineman would normally result in an eye-opening touchdown celebration, but as Bembry crossed the goal-line, he laid down on the turf exhausted, yet satisfied about what he just achieved.
It was in that moment, as teammates gathered around him and picked him up to his feet that the 6-foot, 240-pound defensive tackle thought to himself about the possibility of playing football in college. The game he loved since childhood had presented him with an opportunity he wasn't going to miss.
"I thought to myself, 'if I can do this, and continue to make big-plays even if my team is losing, so it forces other teams to respect my game, I see myself playing at the next level," Bembry said. "I was tired at the end of the run, but it was the moment of my life."
But the credit for that moment becoming a reality has to go to the person who has been so critical in teaching Bembry the game of football and the techniques to succeed — his father.
It was Bembry's father, Troy, who put the time and effort in to working with his son. They watched games together while studying the tendencies of some of the game's best players while trying to implement it into Bembry's game. He also brought his son to many different camps in order to refine his trade as a defensive lineman after starting his football playing career as a running back.
However, the most important aspect was the never-ending dialogue between father and son. Troy never sugar-coated the facts to his son, always telling him what he did right and wrong, encouraging him to be a better player, person and teammate.
"I really looked up to him and he showed me everything about the game," Bembry said of his father. "He brought me to a lot of camps, showed me the ropes, the techniques I should use and encouraged me by giving me both positive and negative feedback. It made me a better player."
And it was evident during this past season as Bembry anchored a stout Prince George defensive line.
The Royals finished the season with a 5-6 record while allowing less points than they scored for the since 1999. In fact, with the exception of a 50-point loss to eventual state champion Dinwiddie, the Royals lost their other five games by an average of just 7.4 points.
The defensive ability of the Royals' front seven was especially obvious during the first half of action against Hopewell in which they held Virginia Tech commit Tabyus Taylor to just 48 rushing yards. Their effort prompted Blue Devils head coach Ricky Irby to call the Royals a 'big, strong, powerful team.'
For his part, Bembry said he and his teammates just executed their game-plan all season long.
"We had to really commit and believe in the system the coaches were telling us to run," he said of the defense. "I was pushing the defensive line to make sure they hit the right gaps, deal with your assignments and the linebackers will make the plays behind us."
It's Bembry's leadership and impact on the field in which he routinely found himself drawing double-teams or getting into the backfield which led to him signing to play football at Catawba College earlier this week.
And Catawba is getting a player with a very high-motor who emulates his game like that of the Detroit Lions Ndamukong Suh. While Suh has been known for some dirty hits throughout his career, he is also known for the type of dominating effect on the running game.
After talking with the coaches of Catawba, Bembry knows he will be playing the three-techinque as the down lineman over the center, but says he will be focused on getting stronger throughout the summer and preseason workouts. That type of work-ethic would follow what he has done throughout his life and will continue to do on the field.
"I'm a high-motor player who won't give up on the play," he said of the way he plays. "If I get beat on one play, then I'm coming back harder and meaner on the next play because no one is going to beat throughout a whole game. I'm going to come after you until I get to the quarterback. I'm one of those competitors who keeps striving to be better."
That mentality has already resulted in Bembry becoming a force along the defensive line of Prince George and it would be no surprise if he does the same against Catawba's opponents over the next few years.